By Vatican News staff writer
In a message to the Women’s Consultation Group of the Pontifical Council for Culture, Pope Francis noted that “For the first time, a Dicastery has involved a group of women by making them protagonists in developing cultural projects and approaches, and not simply to deal with women’s issues”. Your gathering, he said, highlights “the novelty that you represent in the Roman Curia.”
Working together in mutual respect
The Consultation, made up of “women engaged in different sectors of the life of society”, received a message from the Pope on Thursday on the occasion of the seminar “Women Read Pope Francis: Reading, Reflection and Music”, a series of meetings that now begins with the theme “Evangelii Gaudium”. “However different” your visions may be, said the Pope, you “converge on the goal of working together in mutual respect."
For their reading programme the Consultation have chosen three of Pope Francis’ writings: the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium, the Encyclical Letter Laudato si’ ,and the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together.
Pope Francis noted that these three choices are significant, as all three are devoted, respectively, “to the themes of evangelization, creation and fraternity”, therefore reflecting “in the spirit of the Consultation Group, a rich diversity striving to seek areas of agreement and fellowship in dialogue”.
Intellect and spirituality
“Your aim in this gathering is to create a dialogue between intellect and spirituality, between unity and diversity, between music and liturgy, with one fundamental goal, that of universal friendship and trust. You do this with a feminine voice that desires to help heal an ailing world”, said the Pope.
He then went on to note than in the history of salvation “it was a woman who welcomed God’s word”. Women are the “protagonists” of a Church that goes forth as they listen and care for the needs of others “capable of fostering true processes of justice”.
Finally, Pope Francis said “I encourage you, then to be bearers of a message of peace and renewal. To be a presence that, with humility and courage, is able to understand and welcome newness and inspire the hope of a more fraternal world.”